Differences in Pelvic Floor Symptoms During Pregnancy Between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Women

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to describe and compare pelvic floor symptoms and symptom burden between nulliparous Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women in the third trimester of pregnancy and to determine, in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), whether bother differs between groups, adjusted for UI severity.

Methods

In this cross-sectional analysis, participants completed the Epidemiology of Prolapse and Incontinence and Incontinence Severity Index questionnaires. We compared differences in symptom domains between groups using logistic regression and tested the effect of ethnicity on bother in women with SUI using linear regression.

Results

The sample comprised 418 non-Hispanic white and 154 Hispanic women. Prevalence rates of symptom domains ranged from 5.0% and 7.1% for pelvic organ prolapse to 95.2% and 94.2% for overactive bladder in non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women, respectively. After adjusting age, height, weight, education, physical activity, and gestational age, non-Hispanic whites had 2.37-fold increased odds (95% confidence interval, 1.44–3.92) for defecatory dysfunction and had nonsignificant increases in other symptom domains. Non-Hispanic whites were more likely to endorse symptoms in 3 or more domains than Hispanic women (58.9% vs 40.3%, respectively; P = 0.0001). Given the same UI severity (Incontinence Severity Index), Hispanic women with SUI reported 7.5 points greater bother (Epidemiology of Prolapse and Incontinence) than non-Hispanic white women (P = 0.07).

Conclusions

After adjustment, we found few differences in the prevalence of pelvic floor symptom domains between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women, apart from defecatory dysfunction. If differences by ethnicity in other pelvic floor symptoms exist, they do not seem to originate during the first pregnancy.

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